Black Desert Online is free to try this weekend

Black Desert Online is a game I'm always on the cusp of buying. I'm told its expansive crafting systems and combo-based combat is a joy—yet I always wind up wasting my time building monstrously ugly characters who'll never see the light of day in its uber-comprehensive standalone customisation suite. Perhaps I'll break tradition this weekend, given Pearl Abyss' quirky MMO is free to try on Steam

And once its free trial expires—on Sunday at 1pm PT/9pm GMT—perhaps I'll even pick up BDO for half price, assuming I like my time with it. From now through Monday, January 29, you see, Black Desert Online boasts a 50 percent reduction. 

I could spend the next paragraph waffling about what I think Black Desert Online is about, but it's almost certainly better for everyone if I defer to my colleague and MMO aficionado, Steven Messner. Here's why BDO worth your time

[In Black Desert Online] you can be a merchant, a fisherman, or invest all your time into building a massive production empire of beer. This is all thanks to Black Desert Online's complex node system. Each region is divided up into nodes that provide various resources, while properties in cities can be purchased and converted into blacksmiths, fisheries, or storage depots. Instead of doing all the hard work yourself, you can hire automated workers who level up and have their own innate skills to do the heavy lifting. 

It's an intimidating system to learn when you're just starting out, but the freedom it provides is unparalleled. It can be just as rewarding to spend an evening tweaking your farms and leveling up your workers as it is taking down one of Black Desert Online's brutal world bosses. And if that doesn't suit your fancy, the node system is also the foundation for weekly guild wars, where guilds race to conquer various nodes for special bonuses—making BDO a great choice if you're into PVP as well.

So there you have it. Check out Black Desert Online for free on Steam till Sunday.